Marine Mammal Strandings - What to Do and Who to Call
What to Do and Who to Call
Walking along the ocean on a cloudy summer day with
your dog and your kids, you notice an odd log ahead
on the beach. On further inspection, it is an injured seal.
You want to do something to help it, but what should
First, call the Seaside Aquarium. The aquarium heads the
North Oregon Coast faction of the Marine Mammal
Stranding Network, whose goal is to help educate and
keep the public safe. They will come assess the situation
and post signs if the animal is alive or determine if it
needs to be removed from the beach if it is
Act prohibits people from having direct contact with marine
mammals and that the best thing to do for the health
of the animal is to let nature take its course. Sometimes
animals haul up on the beach to rest or to molt. Molting is
a process of shedding old fur and skin that causes animals
to be incredibly irritable. They look and sound like they
may be dying, but they just need some time and privacy
and will eventually swim away.
Second, stay away from the beached animal. Do not try
to feed, touch, or get close to this animal in any way.
There are many reasons this is important. First and
foremost, marine mammals can transmit diseases to
humans and other animals. Some diseases are transmittable
by touch. Even seriously injured animals can move rapidly
when they feel endangered (and they bite). Also, if it is
a baby seal, the mother is probably nearby but will not
return while people are around.